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Planetary Boundaries for Forests and Their National Exceedance
Environmental Science & Technology  (IF9.028),  Pub Date : 2021-10-25, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c02513
Qian Zhang, Jianchuan Qi, Baodong Cheng, Chang Yu, Sai Liang, Thomas O. Wiedmann, Yu Liu, Qiumeng Zhong

Achieving forest sustainability is a declared sustainable development goal (SDG 15). Measuring the safe operating space─planetary boundaries─of global forests is essential to determine global forest pressure and manage forests sustainably. Here, we quantify the forestry planetary boundary (FPB) and national forestry boundaries. Results show that, in 2015, the FPB was 7.1 billion m3 of forest stock increments. Global timber harvests account for 58.7% of the FPB. Timber harvests of 47 nations, mostly in Africa and Asia, have exceeded their national forestry boundaries. Their boundary-exceeding timber harvest is mainly driven by the final demand of developed nations (e.g., the United States and Japan) and emerging economies (e.g., India and China) through global supply chains. This study highlights the importance of the FPB in global forest management and trade-related policymaking. The findings can guide global and national forest harvesting activities and help promote international cooperation to mitigate global deforestation.